The B-17 Flying Fortress, “Texas Raiders”, will arrive in Atlanta for the 15th annual World War II Heritage Days April 21-22 at the Atlanta Regional Airport – Falcon Field in Peachtree City, Ga. Ground tours will be available, and rides can be purchased for flights Friday through Sunday, April 20-22.
Commemorative Air Force (CAF) Dixie Wing hosts the event at the CAF Dixie Wing Warbird Museum adjacent to the airport, and this year will pay tribute to Medal of Honor recipients from WWII. Fans of the 1940s can join the festivities by portraying famous personalities associated with the era. Friends, families and civic organizations are invited to build personas and displays that recreate the Homefront experience. Reenactors in authentic uniforms will stage mock battles each day in a simulated European village. The public also will have an opportunity to meet B-17 crewmen and other World War II veterans during the weekend.
B-17G Texas Raiders is one of the most recognized and famous Flying Fortresses on the airshow circuit. It has been recognized by AIR CLASSICS magazine as the best restored operating B-17G bomber in the world. The aircraft has been restored to wartime configuration by an entirely volunteer group of dedicated supporters at the CAF Gulf Coast Wing in Texas.
This aircraft began its military career as B-17G-95-DL 44-83872, manufactured by Douglas Aircraft Corporation at Long Beach, Calif., (under license from Boeing Aircraft Corporation,). It was delivered to the U.S. Army Air Corps on July 12, 1945 and was transferred to the U.S. Navy. July 21, 1945. Following Navy acceptance, it was converted to become one of the first Airborne Early Warning and Control Systems (AWACS) ocean patrol aircraft.
Over the last 14 years, WWII Heritage Days has emerged as the largest annual World War II and 1940s theme event in Georgia. It is a can’t-miss experience for anyone who enjoys nostalgia, big- band music, swing dance, historic aircraft and military vehicles, antique cars and vintage fashion. The program features reenactors portraying Axis and Allied troops, sailors, airmen and Women Army Service Pilots (WASP). This year’s lineup includes more than 15 WWII aircraft, many of which are available to ride, and more than 25 vintage military vehicles such as Jeeps and half-tracks.
For music the Peachtree Jazz Edition will perform Big Band standards at a 1940s hangar dance fundraiser, “Keep ‘em Flying”, on Saturday night, April 21. Tickets for “Keep ‘em Flying” are $55 until March 31, $65 after that date. Reserved tables are available. All ticket sales are final. For more information, please visit www.wwiidays.org or call 678-364-1110.
“WWII Heritage Days has become an excellent way to honor the heroes of the Greatest Generation and educate all ages about the WWII experience in battle and on the home front,” said Jennifer Johnson, executive director of the Peachtree City Convention and Visitors Bureau. “Volunteer organizations provide WWII music, settings, vehicles, equipment and participants to take guests back to the days of the 1940s.”
Suggested donations for WWII Heritage Days are $10 for adults 17 and older and $5 for children 11-17. Children 10 and under and World War II veterans are admitted free. WWII Heritage Days will take place rain or shine. Please no pets. Proceeds from the event help fund restoration and operation of the Dixie Wing fleet.